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Personalize content experience for your visitors

6 min read
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Content personalization services come in all shapes and sizes. You might know them under terms such as API-first marketing automation, customer experience management, or digital experience platform. They give you a toolbox for creating a personalized digital experience by recommending the right content to the right customers.

Table of contents

    • Create personalized content by labeling your content items. Labeled and organized content is recommendable content.
    • Use specialized services for content personalization and recommendation. You can do simple personalization on your own, but it can get complex quickly.
    • Analyze which recommendations perform best and iterate on your content.

    Bird's eye view of personalization with a headless CMS

    A headless CMS like is your content hub. It's where your content is stored. It's also where your apps get content from. doesn't collect data about your customers or your website's visitors.

    If you want to provide unique experiences to different audiences, you need to create different versions of your content for them. Even twelve versions of a single page if that's what it takes.

    To tell your content versions apart, label your content with metadata that tells you for which contexts or for whom the content is meant.

    To show the right content to the right person, you need to recommend your content based on data. Specifically, the data you have on a given user. For example, what their interests are, what persona they might be, or how they got to your website.

    Worked examples

    Phase 1: Label your content

    Before you can recommend your content, you need to identify which content is suited for which context and audience. To identify your content, you need to label (or tag) your content items with metadata.

    How you design the metadata depends on your content model and preferences. As a starting point, you can try adding metadata information by using taxonomies and multiple choice elements.

    Here are a few examples of what kind of metadata you might want to use to label your content:

    • Location information, such as region or geolocation
    • Audience information, such as user segments, persona, age group, or gender
    • Intent information, such as user goals
    • Marketing information, such as campaigns
    • Voice & tone information

    With your content items properly labeled, you can start recommending content based on what you know about your users.

    Phase 2: Find what's unique about your users

    When a new user comes to your website, they're anonymous. Yet even anonymous users can have a personalized experience. For example, you can tailor the content they see based on UTM parameters of the first page they visit. For anything more advanced, you need data.

    You need to collect information about your users, much like Google Analytics tracks the performance of pages. You can use your company's CRM, a service like Intercom for in-app communication, or a marketing automation tool like Salesforce Pardot.

    Once a visitor reveals their identity by providing their email address via form submission, clicking a newsletter link, or registering for a webinar, the personalization possibilities become much broader.

    Phase 3: Recommend content to users

    When you've labeled your content and collected data about your users, it's time to show the right content to the right person.

    Depending on the complexity of your content and the collected data, you have a choice to make. Either create your own personalization logic or use an existing personalization tool to help you with it. In either case, you'll need to invest developer time to add personalization capabilities into your web or mobile apps.

    We recommend doing your own research so that you pick the approach that best fits your needs. The choice also depends on the level of content personalization you want to achieve. For more complex personalization scenarios, specialized services can make your personalization journey a whole lot easier.

    Try Partner personalization integrations

    • With Uniform, a Digital Experience Platform, personalize content using an integrated recommendation engine.
    • With Recombee, an AI-powered Recommender as a Service, optimize digital delivery with personalization, no-code tools and more.

    Whichever personalization tool you choose, you'll use it to create and apply personalization rules. These rules will then serve as the cornerstone of your personalization. Based on the rules, your apps will fetch and display the content relevant for the given user.

    Once your personalization implementation is in place, content creators and marketers can manage things on their own. They can adjust content and the way it's labeled as well as the rules for personalization.

    What's next?